A young computer expert living in an English seaside town was hailed a hero last night for stopping the huge worldwide cyber ransom attack.
Working from his home on the south coast during a week’s holiday, it took the 22-year-old just a few hours to find a critical weakness in the software that crippled tens of thousands of PCs.
Completely self-taught, he used his technical skills to successfully stop the ransomware spreading any further and after announcing what he had done online he was inundated with messages of praise and thanks.
But last night he tried to play down his heroics, insisting he had only halted the cyber attack accidentally.
‘Saying I’ve saved lives is a bit drastic, but I’ve definitely saved a few people a pretty penny,’ he told The Mail on Sunday.
Some of you may be wondering how we get into the holiday spirit on the Central Coast, considering that we lack the built-in cultural signifiers (read: snow) present in other places. It’s simple: we’ve learned to embrace the incongruity of a warm(ish) Christmas. The nearby city of Capitola heralds the season each year with the arrival of Surfin’ Santa on his outrigger canoe, for instance. Then there are songs such as “A Surfer’s Christmas List,” released in 1963 by the Surfaris of “Wipe Out” fame. (Sure, the Surfaris hail from Glendora in SoCal, but the tune is still appropriate…)
I first heard “A Surfer’s Christmas List” on the very first mix tape I received; I must have been 17. My brother’s high school buddy Marta was in town for a visit, and she gave me a Christmas tape (yes, an actual cassette!) entitled Ho There! There were highlights strewn…
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